The news that Stoke Gifford Parish Council has decided to charge Parkrun to use a local park for hold its 5km running events there is downright absurd.
Apparently, it would damage the path that the runners use…
But this forgets that the local community is already hands the council money - £307,946 in 2014-15 - through a Council Tax precept precisely so that they can maintain local facilities for people to make use of them.
So it is completely bizarre that they should vote to put additional charges on Parkrun which helps people use the park for its intended purpose. Now, since Parkrun doesn’t charge those who take part in their weekly runs, they have had to cancel the event.
We hear a lot about the need to live a healthy lifestyle (indeed this is why the government wants to impose a sugar tax from 2018-19) so it is a great shame that this council has effectively banned participating in an organised sporting activity.
Besides, Parkrun have offered to undertake maintenance and clean up after the event “as a way of offsetting whatever the perceived costs might be to the council”. And you have to ask: what they will try to charge for next?
Perhaps all those who would have taken part should go for a jog in the park at the same time. 9 am on Saturday sound good to anyone?